Today I returned to Frimley Park Hospital. I was to have the lurid yellow cast removed, have it x-rayed and then checked by the expert to determine whether I’d need another plaster. I was definitely going to have the pink one this time, just to annoy Nicktor.
I was a bit late being seen as a few people’s notes had vanished, mine included. Instead of 2pm, I eventually went in at 2.20. Still, it all went swimmingly after the false start. Especially in the Plaster Room.
Everyone has to take a number outside the Plaster Room and wait to be called. My number was 71 and the electronic board was up to 69. I sat down, prepared for the inevitable wait – I know how long a good plastering takes. A plaster nurse suddenly stuck her head round the corner and said “70?“. Silence as we all looked for the lucky holder of ticket 70. “70?” She repeated. Again, nothing. It was like bidding your top price at an auction and silently praying no-one would bid higher.
“71?” She then asked and I was in there so fast she didn’t see me.
The cast came off and the relief was immense. The first thing I did was have a scratch. The nurse immediately admonished me, saying I had to keep it steady. She took a wet wipe and gently rubbed it over my arm. This was heavenly.
I was then sent off to x-ray to sit and wait for my name to be called. As I sat, the monthly stats appeared on the wall. Patients had been asked a number of questions on their experience in the department, which they had to give a level of satisfaction (1 – totally agree to 5 – totally disagree). Most of the responses were very high for things like cleanliness and efficiency.
The one area they really failed in was telling the patient their name. I thought this rather odd as they all have name badges on and, basically, who cares if the x-ray person tells them their name or not? How is that a measure of good medical treatment? I mused on this as I sat and then my name was called and I followed an Italian chap to the third x-ray room I’ve visited so far.
I feel compelled to report that while he was very efficient, he didn’t tell me his name and the x-ray room was spotless.
It was then back to the Fracture Clinic for another wait of around five minutes. I think they should mislay my notes more often as this had been my quickest trip around the various departments.
I had the same guy look at it as last time though he didn’t seem to recognise me. I can excuse him because all they really look at is the broken bone. Mind you, he didn’t seem to recognise this either. Anyway, he had a good feel and prodded a bit, twisted it painfully and tutted.
Shit, I thought, another bloody cast! But no, he was a bit concerned about the central tendon which the original doctor I saw the day it happened, had mentioned. He also asked about the thumb problem. I told him I’m having an MRI tomorrow and he nodded, sagely. (I really mean that. He was very sage in his nod.)
He then had a nurse get me a Velcro splint to wear most of the time just to give it some support. The nurse nestled my arm gently and put it on very loosely, explaining I should take it very easy for a while because it would feel very weak for a bit. I didn’t really care; just having the cast off was enough for me!
I then made an appointment for a fortnight so they can check how it’s going and I was out and free!
I should add that I decided to try the train today and I’m very glad I did. So much quicker! And I was able to see Frimley High Street. When I texted Mirinda, I accidentally called it Grimley but didn’t bother fixing the typo.
Once home I had a long overdue shower, gently washing my mangy left arm, enjoying it immensely. I then just as gently emptied a bottle of Vasolene Intensive Care all over it. It felt SO good.
I still can’t really use the hand – I can’t turn my wrist beyond 90 degrees for one thing – except to hit the shift key when I need to and it is quite painful every now and then but I don’t care! I was seriously beginning to hate that cast.
Here’s the new look removable splint. It has a metal bar running up the underside and feels strangely supportive.
And here is my naked arm looking and feeling a bit feeble.
I know it looks a bit deformed but that’s more the angle of the photograph as well as the fact that it’s a bit deformed.
I feel like paraphrasing Sweeney Todd by saying “At last, my left arm, is complete, again!” Except it’s not. Quite.
I was thinking today, after talking to Mum & Dad and then Trace that sometimes it’s a pity that God doesn’t exist because there are some true lowlifes that I’d be very happy to see in Hell.